Azawakh Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Azawakh puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

This is an ancient breed that originated in the regions of the south Sahara and the Sahel zone (a sub-Sahara region) in the countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and southern Algeria.

While its appearance resembles that of sighthounds such as the Saluki and the Afghan Hound, latest research shows that the Azawakh is only very distantly related to other sighthounds.

It possesses a rare enzyme that occurs only in foxes, jackals, wolves, and some rare dog breeds found mostly in Japan. This suggests that the breed separated from other dog populations sometime close to the time when the dog family tree separated from wolves.

Traditionally owned by the Tuareg nomads, they are called, "idii n' illeli" (which means, "sighthound of the free people"). They live under the same roof and are fully accepted and appreciated members of the family.

The Azawakh is used for hunting hare, antelope, and wild boar. It's also used for guard duty, companionship, and serves as a status symbol.

During guard duty, the first Azawakh that senses an approaching predator quickly alerts others; other dogs join, forming a pack, and they chase off or kill the predator. By the way, another trait that differentiates this breed from most sighthounds is that the Azawakh is a pack hunter.

While the breed is still rare outside of its native Africa, it's gaining recognition of dog lovers all over the world. It was introduced to United States in the mid 1980s.

Physical Characteristics of Azawakh Puppies

Don't let its fragile appearance fool you! The Azawakh possesses speed, agility, and endurance. Despite its long, thin limbs, it rarely gets injured.

While this is a tall dog, it appears even taller as a result of having very long limbs and a relatively short back. Its topline descends into the withers, giving the appearance that the hips are higher than the withers.

It has slim body with very deep chest which rises abruptly to an extremely tucked in belly. The neck is straight and moderate length. The tail is thin, tapered and set low, and covered with the same type of hair as that on the body. A sickle-shaped tail is preferable. The head is narrow, with pendant ears, large almond-shaped eyes, and dark nose.

The coat is short, sometimes absent from the belly, and comes in sand to dark fawn/brown, red and brindle (with or without a dark mask), with white bib and tail tip. A white "stocking" is mandatory on each limb.

    Height Weight
  Male 25 to 29 inches 45 - 55 pounds
  Female 23.5 - 27.5 inches 35 - 45 pounds


The Azawakh is gentle and affectionate with those it knows but reserved and cautious with strangers. It develops a very strong bond with its owner yet it will retain its independence by not always looking up for instructions. And it alone decides who can and who can't pet it.

While it's fast, it's not the fastest of the sighthounds. However, what distinguishes it from other breeds is its incredible endurance -- the Azawakh can run for extended periods of time when the temperature is hovering over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Having originated from the harsh climate of the Sahara, these dogs are not well suited for living in a cold climate.

Azawakh Hounds have a natural inclination to chase and will chase anything that's fast moving. For this reason, unless in a protected area, always keep your pet on-leash when outdoors.

Being pack oriented and dominant breed, they form complex social hierarchies. If a pack already has an alpha dog, there will be a conflict if a new dog tries to gain the alpha status. Eventually the situation will resolve either with the formation of a new hierarchy or the new dog will accept his place in an existing hierarchy.

Some aspects of its personality don't make Azawakh the best breed for a mainstream dog owner but when properly socialized, they can be good with other dogs, cats, children, and even strangers.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The breed does best with an active and patient family, preferably with older children. It requires an even-tempered owner displaying gentle authority over the dog.

While it's not active indoors and can adjust to an apartment lifestyle, it will do best in the suburbs, living on a large, fenced property.

It prefers living in a warm climate.

Some Azawakh breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

This is a very active breed and needs plenty of exercise.

It will enjoy running off leash in large enclosed areas, especially when in a company of other dogs. You can also take it along if you are into jogging or bicycle riding, but always on leash.

At a minimum, take your pet for several long walks every day.


The Azawakh is one of the cleanest dog breeds whose grooming habits are not that much different from cats.

The breed is an average shedder and will get away with a weekly brushing. Wipe down with a damp cloth to give its coat shine. Since it doesn't have the "doggy smell", there is no need for frequent bathing.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Azawakh is susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

While it's considered a very healthy breed, some dogs are susceptible to seizures, cardiac problems, hypothyroidism, and bloat. Because it has very little body fat, the breed is sensitive to anesthesia and drugs.

For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.

Buy only from reputable Azawakh breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Azawakh puppies is 12 to 15 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

While this is still a rare breed and odds of finding an Azawakh waiting for adaption are very small, there are several rescues specializing in this breed. Contact one of these Azawakh rescue organizations before you contact a breeder.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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Azawakh Puppies » Dog Breeds

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